Parents’ ‘unrealistic expectations’ blamed for ragging cases

April 23rd, 2009 - 9:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday attributed rising incidents of ragging in educational institutions to the “loss of childhood” due to parents’ unrealistic expectations from their children.
“Children are a vulnerable lot. No parent expects less than 90-95 percent marks from them. If the child does not do it, it creates tension,” observed a bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly.

“We seem to forget a very basic thing that a child wants free atmosphere and childhood… we are responsible for the loss of their childhood,” said the bench while discussing ways and means to evolve an institutional mechanism to deal with ragging in educational institutions.

The bench enumerated “loss of childhood” as one of the psychological factors behind increasing instances of ragging as senior counsel Gopal Subramaniam, helping the court in dealing with the malady of ragging, attracted the court’s attention towards a court-appointed panel’s suggestion to probe the menace.

The panel, formed by the Supreme Court to probe into the ragging and subsequent death of a Himachal Pradesh medical college student, had stressed upon the “dire need” to probe psychological aspect of the phenomena of ragging and had sought appointment of a committee of psychologists and mental health experts for the job.

“There is a dire need to examine the psychological aspects of ragging, including its impact on young students and rational behind seniors urge to rag and torment their juniors,” said Subramaniam.

“Ragging is similar to child abuse at home or at orphanages. Young men and women who are abused by their seniors under the pretext of ragging believe that the abusers are part of their extended family and automatically, in their minds, it becomes an internal family affair, and hence very rarely do students ever speak out against it,” said the Raghavan panel report.

The bench also appeared to agree with the panel’s view that “rampant alcoholism” was to be blamed for the spurt of ragging in educational institutions.

Taking note of the prevalence of “rampant alcoholism” on the campus, the bench also expressed concern and agreed that to could be leading to spurt in ragging instances in the campus.

In its report, the panel earlier had also doubted the sincerity of Medical Council of India’s (MCI) efforts in curbing ragging in medical colleges.”

Senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for MCI, told the court MCI is merely a statutory body to recognise or de-recognise medical colleges as per their educational standards and infrastructure.

If asked, it could surely de-recognise a medical college from where the incidents of ragging is reported, but that probably will prove counter productive.

De-recognising a medical college for one incident of ragging means jeopardizing the careers of hundreds of students, besides depriving the local populace of a medical facility, said Salve.

The court approved of Salve’s view.

After discussing several measures to tackle the menace of ragging, the court adjourned the matter to next week for further hearing.

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